Also known as the devil scorpionfish, this species is found throughout the tropical Indian and Pacific oceans, from South Africa to French Polynesia. It is a bottom-dwelling fish, preferring reefs and rocky areas up to 40 m deep. Like the true stonefish, this
species has a broad head, a wide mouth and a tapering body, and rough skin mottled with grey, white and reddish-brown patches. It has bright colours on the inside of its pectoral fins, which it flashes as a warning when under threat. The false stonefish has venomous spines in its dorsal and anal fins, but whilst it is capable of delivering a painful wound, it is not as venomous as the true stonefish. It is carnivorous, and uses its excellent camouflage to ambush passing invertebrates and small fish.